January 2022 ~
One way or another, Lauren Greif (Lincoln, 2006) always has been involved in sports.
Her exploits as a three-sport standout at Lincoln High paved the way for four productive years at Cal-Berkeley, which set the table for what has been a variety of off-the-court/field/course work endeavors already.
Greif, a 2006 Lincoln grad, recently added a new responsibility when she and husband Preston Judkins, who live in Chicago, had their first child.
Cecilia “is amazing,” Greif said. “It’s very exciting to be in the moment with her as her parent.”
Cece, as her parents call her, was born Sept. 19. With Lauren’s birthday Sept. 16 and her wedding anniversary Sept. 18, it’s easy to know what may be the family’s busiest week of the years ahead.
Will those years include Cece taking part in sports? Her mother hopes so.
“There’s already a little hoop set up for her,” Lauren said. “And we’ve already talked to her about some defensive assignments. But I don’t think she gets it yet!”
Lauren and Preston took Cece to her first sporting event, a University of Chicago women’s basketball game; the U of Chicago coach is a friend of Lauren’s.
Judkins is a big sports fan, primarily when it comes to his alma mater, Wisconsin, and football and basketball, which are Lauren’s favorite sports to follow as well.
Lauren remains a huge college fan, and her job of the past two years, for Catapult Sports in Chicago, keeps her in that game with the company dealings at Northwestern, DePaul and other schools.
This lifelong love for sports and competition started when Lauren Terranova Greif was a student at Ainsworth Elementary. Her mother, Elaine Greif, and father, Greg Terranova, were sports fans, and the family had season tickets to the Portland Trail Blazers’ home games.
Lauren took a liking early to basketball. Soccer became a favorite, too, in part because it was an even better way for Lauren to play with neighborhood and school friends. “Great for conditioning and foot skills,” she said. Golf was a family game, played often at Heron Lakes or Redtail (which was Lincoln’s home course), and something Lauren saw as a fun contrast to the intensity of basketball and soccer.
The family had two hoops and a concrete court about 60 feet long, so during her childhood years she was able to work on basketball skills at home. Brother Michael Greif Terranova, three years older, provided an example, and Lauren would play basketball with Michael and his friends.
Lauren got into the club sports route growing up, and her basketball abilities were strong enough that she played for traveling teams, starting with Xtreme and then PEBO (Portland Elite Basketball Organization, coached by Velaida Harris, who would be her Lincoln coach and now is head coach of Weber State). Greif kept moving up in the basketball world and wound up her junior year with Cal Swish, which had top players from California and elsewhere.
She remembers getting her first letter from a college when she was in eighth grade at West Sylvan Middle School. It came from the Cal Bears, appropriately. “I was like, ‘What? What does it mean to be recruited?’” she said.
She would find out a lot more the next few years, and visited Cal, Oregon and Washington before choosing the Bears. “My family is very interested in academics and education,” she said. “And of course there was the nicer weather there. And Cal had had a great recruiting class right before mine.”
At Cal, she majored in psychology (mom Elaine is a clinical psychologist), and after graduation Lauren was thinking of either more school, or coaching, or playing basketball overseas or going straight to work in one field or another. She chose the latter and wishes in a way that she had played internationally for at least a year. But things have worked out very well.
After getting her degree, she wrote to rival but legendary coach Tara VanDerveer of Stanford, asking if she had any advice on jobs.
“I was expecting her to suggest a camp I could work at or give me the name of somebody at a smaller school. She wrote back very quickly and said, ‘You should come work for me,’” Greif said. “I told her, ‘I’ll be there next week. Whatever you need.”
And so began a five-year stint with the Cardinal. The first year, Greif was an unpaid intern focusing on video and video analysis. When the team’s video coordinator left the next year Lauren was perfectly positioned to take over and spent four years as Stanford women’s basketball’s video coordinator/specialist.
Along the way, she got a masters degree in sports psychology from San Jose State.
Then came an opportunity to move to Chicago and work for FastModel, which provides software to basketball teams and coaches.
She went from there to her current job with Catapult Sports, where she does sales and account management for the company, which offers tracking devices designed to help athletes and strength and conditioning coaches.
Along the way, while playing adult social softball, she met Judkins, a traffic engineer. He was in the outfield; she was the second baseman.
Chicago has become home for the three of them, although “it’s definitely cold here in the winter and sometimes I wonder why I live here,” she said.
She loves her visits to Portland and was amazed a few months ago to see what the rebuild of Lincoln looks like.
A 2017 PIL Hall of Fame inductee, she had all the necessary credentials for membership.
At Lincoln, she was all-PIL four times, the league Player of the Year and all-state her junior and senior years, and led the state in scoring as a senior with 22.9 points per game. She finished as Lincoln’s all-time leading scorer and as the No. 2 scorer in PIL history.
“I loved basketball there,” Greif said. “We had great battles with Jefferson and Grant.”
She played three years of soccer for the Cardinals, skipping her senior season in order to guard against an injury that could have affected her basketball future. She was all-state and all-PIL all three years and helped Lincoln reach the state championship game in 2003.
Her four years of Lincoln girls golf included a 27th-place finish as a senior.
Lincoln coaches Harris and Jeff Peeler were influential, and Lauren’s idols occupied their places on the walls of her bedroom in poster form: Mia Hamm from the U.S. women’s soccer team, and Brian Grant, power forward for the Blazers.
In basketball, she continued to evolve, change and grow as a player, realizing that at 5-9 she was going from second-tallest, penetrating attacker to shooting guard and cerebral standout.
“I wasn’t the tallest or fastest, but I knew my skill set and knew what other people were supposed to be doing,” she said.
As a forward in soccer, she used her brains again, along with her willingness to be physical.
“I wasn’t afraid to mix it up,” she said. “Like in basketball, I knew where the ball was going to go. I got a lot of goals after stealing the ball when the sweeper was trying to pass it back to the goalkeeper and things like that.”
One of her few “what ifs” in sports came during that state soccer final, a 3-0 loss to Sheldon. Lincoln was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box. “I passed it to a teammate instead of just giving it a try myself,” she said. “I still think about that every so often.”
Greif stepped right into a starting spot at Cal and was in the starting lineup all four years as the Bears became a force in the Pac-10 and beyond under then-coach Joanne Boyle. Greif got to play in three NCAA tournaments and helped Cal win the NIT championship her senior year.
“Winning my last college game was cool,” she said of Cal’s 73-61 victory over Miami.
The Bears were 101-36 overall and 53-19 in conference in her four seasons.
“We were really good,” Greif said. “It was a great group of friends we had on the team, too.”
Highlights included a freshman year upset at Stanford, which had won 50 home conference games in a row.
Greif still ranks fourth in career 3-pointers at Cal and sixth in games played. And she was a two-time All-Academic first-team selection in the Pac-10 and made the second team once.